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Voices


Exploring and celebrating diversity in science.
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    Diverse ideas and perspectives benefit science—as studies amply demonstrate—yet progress toward equal representation of minority groups within the scientific community has been frustratingly slow.

    With that in mind, in July 2014, Scientific American launched Voices, a blog in our award-winning network that celebrates eclecticism in research, exploration and communication about science.

    We hope you will join us and invite you to send your ideas, thoughts, questions and comments to sciamblogs@sciam.com.
     

  • Media Portrayals of Female Scientists Often Shallow, Superficial

    Neuroscientist Susan Greenfield speaking at an event in Wales in 2013. (Nationa Assembly for Wales/Flickr)

    When British neuroscientist Susan Greenfield became the first woman to give the UK’s prestigious Royal Institution Christmas lectures in 1994, journalists at the time focused on her path-breaking achievement. But they also reported on something else: how she looked. The Times of London wrote that in the televised lectures she wore “a blush pink silk [...]

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    It’s Time for More Racial Diversity in STEM Toys

    The hugely popular Doc McStuffins is proving that consumers are ready for more STEM characters of color. (Photo: Disney)

    It’s clear that we as a nation are failing to engage minority students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as well as we could. In a recent op-ed for The New York Times, columnist Charles Blow reminded us with sobering statistics that people of color remain vastly underrepresented in the STEM disciplines. He noted, for [...]

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    Why There Is No Perfect Human in Puerto Rico or Anywhere Else

    Actress Jennifer Lopez waves a Puerto Rican flag. (Yadriel/Wikimedia Commons)

    Disappointed by James Watson’s decision to sell his Nobel Prize medal, Lior Pachter, a computational biologist who works on genomics at the University of California Berkeley, wrote an entry on his private blog in early December protesting the decision. To criticize Watson’s infamous positions on race (among other things), Pachter turned to the recent human [...]

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    Inspiring Young Men from Minority Backgrounds to Code

    “We knew there was so much talent out there who would be eager to code, and just didn’t know the field existed. It is very rewarding to see how their lives can change for the better,” says Lewis Halpern. (Image courtesy of All Star Code)

    On a sign that adorns the premises of the vibrant New York technology charity, All Star Code, the bold messaging could not be clearer.  Displayed in large writing are the top ten principles that inspired the charity’s creation. Most prominently placed, and one that will ring true to many Americans, is number one. It reads: [...]

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    Gone in 2014: Remembering 10 Notable Women in Science

    Looking back on the year that was, science mavens may notice that tributes to those who’ve passed on in the preceding 12 months are far more often filled with stars of stage, screen, politics and sport than with the pioneering women and men who have bettered our society through discovery and invention. This is especially [...]

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    “You Are Welcome Here”: Small Stickers Make a Big Difference for LGBTQ Scientists

    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's "You Are Welcome Here" sticker.

    When I visited the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod in early 2013 for an open house for prospective students, in many senses I was feeling under the weather. I stepped off my flight from California into a “wintry mix” and my inappropriate Bay Area shoes soaked up a puddle of water and then [...]

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    Beyond “The Pipeline”: Reframing Science’s Diversity Challenge

    Pipeline. (James T M Towill/Geograph)

    One of the most commonly used metaphors for describing the solution for growing and diversifying America’s scientific talent pool is the “STEM pipeline.” Major policy reports have called on the U.S. to enlarge it so it does not fall behind other nations.  Scholars and the popular press have highlighted the need to fix pipeline “leaks” [...]

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    When Being Borinqueña Acquired New Meaning

    borinquena-1eraniversario

    I knew my idea was not unique, mainly because it originated from a collective need. Like many others, I felt the need to have a voice and to form a space for a community that would highlight and represent the women in science of Puerto Rico. This was my personal desire and aspiration, but one I [...]

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    Oceanographer Sylvia Earle is a Glamour Woman of the Year

    Dr. Sylvia Earle speaks onstage at the Glamour 2014 Women Of The Year Awards at Carnegie Hall on November 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Glamour)

    Her Deepness. The Sturgeon General. And now: Glamour Girl. On Monday night, renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle earned a new moniker when she joined eight others in receiving a 2014 Glamour Woman of the Year Award at a celebrity-packed Carnegie Hall. Since 1990, Glamour has set aside one evening each autumn to fête the remarkable accomplishments of [...]

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    Toward a Tipping Point for Latinas in STEM

    Courtesy of Latinas Think Big via Flickr

    Over the last few weeks, in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, I have been sharing the work of organizations or projects that empower young Latinas to pursue and thrive in careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) [see posts here, here and here]. If you can’t already tell, this is a topic I [...]

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